Every time there is a storm around the corner, I would prepare myself to tackle with the floods. Because, it leaves us with two options to choose from. Either survive or surrender. In a country like India, floods need no introduction as it only gets bigger and worse every year.
Curious about this unusual phenomenon which used to be a rare occurrence back in 90s made me dig little deep into the details of why we had to deal with floods every single time. And the results I have come across were terrifying.
The nature is constantly teaching us about how we need to change our behavior towards environment, but we continued to ignore the warnings and going against the nature.
Water is a critical and crucial resource we all rely on, irrespective of the geographical boundaries we have created for ourselves. But, are we safe-guarding our natural resources in the right way? Absolutely not!
Water use is on the rise so as the population which technically points towards rapid urban development as 70% of the world population by 2050 will move to urban areas for a better standard of living.
Environment manipulation is the primary reason for the chaos around. Building grey infrastructure for every need has pressurized the nature to take the back seat. We have laid pipelines, diverted rivers, erected dams, dried up aquifers, flooded valleys and polluted water ways to meet the demand.
In the context of water utilization, it is believable that we are nearing the carrying capacity of the available water resources. And it is happening because of 3 reasons – water resources available in the eco-system, increase in the size of population and the volume of water each individual is consuming.
So, here are some of the 3 protection strategies that can help us do better in balancing our ecosystem from further damage.
The silent stake-holder – nature calls for action. It calls for a change in the way we look at managing our water resources. It is understandable that by 2050, global water demand is expected to rise by a third. By building wetlands, natural / constructed in storing water is more sustainable and cost-effective than investing on building infrastructure for dams.
Green infrastructure is slowing finding its feet in today’s generation. As it uses natural or semi-natural systems that provides the benefits equivalent to conventional grey infrastructure. Green infrastructure is now a trend and is on roads of setting up a bench mark in the nature-based solutions segment. The combination of green and grey infrastructure is not only helping the environment, but also helping industries in saving a lot of money and time. With a proven track record of water security, water quality and water availability, green infrastructure is set to go places by big wigs adopting to the concept.
2.0 depicts an upgrade to the existing system and agriculture is definitely in need of it to meet the demand of food supply. “Conservation agriculture” is the term which is aimed at minimizing the soil disturbance, maintaining the soil cover and regularizing the crop rotation that helps in sustainable food production.
“In the words of Gilbert F. Houngbo, Chair of UN-Water, “For too long, the world has turned first to human-built, or “grey”, infrastructure to improve water management. In so doing, it has often brushed aside traditional and indigenous knowledge that embraces greener approaches. Three years into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is time for us to re-examine nature-based solutions to help achieve water management objectives”.
So, JalBharat believes, a balance between green and grey infrastructure can make the difference and any practice that we, as a human take in the name of urban development should be calculated on the basis of what’s in stock for future. Because, we all are here to make a mark, but not to create scar that future generations will end up suffering to the mistakes that we make today.